Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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The Man, The Myth, The Legend: My Father

A hero can be defined as “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.”  When I hear this definition I cannot help but pair it with my father.  Throughout my life there has always been one person I viewed higher than all the others.  This man lives his life for one reason: to support his family until the day he dies.  He hasn’t complained a day in his life and has made countless sacrifices to get this essential job done.  Dreams of professional sports were put on hold and eventually forgotten due to this immense responsibility of supporting a family.  When I asked him if he had any regrets for not pursuing these goals in the sports world, he simply responded, “Not at all, my family needed me.  If I had to do it all over, I would have made the same decision.” [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   2 Comments

More Than a Game

Some people call it a game, others say it’s a pastime; but to me, baseball is life.  The smell of a new wooden bat, fresh cut grass, and perfectly raked dirt is all I need to be happy.  Baseball has been an aspect of my life since I first stepped onto the top of the dugout of legendary Yankee Stadium.  At the age of four, my tiny body bounced up and down on this structure, ignorant to the history I was making in my own life.  Ever since that day, I knew it was this great sport that flowed through my veins.

Unlike many other things in life, baseball is straightforward.  It makes perfect sense to me.  School, on the other hand, is filled with complicated formulas, historical facts, and tests to study for.  All of these things that cause anxiety and made everyday life tedious are forbidden here on the baseball diamond.  It is almost as if there is an unwritten rule that says, “forget everything, just think baseball.”  Now this is something I can relate to in every way, shape, and form.  Catching, throwing, and hitting a baseball are what I take pride in, things I live for. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   1 Comment

Francine Prose: One in a Million

When I walked out of the elevator of the seventh floor of the William and Anita Newman Library Building, I saw posters and flyers telling all that Francine Prose was amongst us.  To be honest, at first I didn’t truly understand the magnitude of having such an accomplished writer at Baruch willing to talk to Macaulay Honors Students about her life’s work.  I soon realized this was a privilege not just a mandatory part of my Arts in New York City course.  Professor Roslyn Bernstein and the rest of the esteemed Baruch College staff had nothing but praises regarding Francine Prose and the novels she wrote, including the book my fellow classmates and I recently read, Reading Like a Writer. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on Francine Prose: One in a Million

“Doctor Atomic” Bombs

Trying to keep a positive attitude about the upcoming opera, as I walked into the Metropolitan Opera my perspective drastically changed.  Earlier in the week, I was actually looking forward to “Doctor Atomic” since it was based on a topic I was greatly interested in, the atomic bomb.  One thing I was not looking forward to was the opera style singing that was to be expected in the performance.  When I think of opera, I imagine heavy-set opera singers singing so loud that it shatters wine glasses and audience members’ eyeglasses.  This was the way it was in the old days, opera singers were usually heavy men and women because they were the only singers capable of hitting the loudest notes.   I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was wrong about the big-boned singers.  To be fair, as an eighteen-year-old college student, opera is not my music genre of choice.  I would be much happier listening to hip-hop, rap, or even country music. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on “Doctor Atomic” Bombs

Jeff Mermelstein: Not Your Everyday Photographer

As soon as Jeff Mermelstein entered room 12-170 I knew it was going to be a fun, action-packed class.  It began with him asking Yuriy, a fellow classmate, and I to change seats in order to set up his projector.  Gladly, we did as asked.  As we were moved our belongings, Jeff cracked jokes to us and could have been mistaken for a college student himself.  Previously, I was expecting that class to be just another talk with a photographer, but I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on Jeff Mermelstein: Not Your Everyday Photographer

“Waltz With Bashir” Shocks All

When I initially sat down in anticipation of “Waltz With Bashir,” I didn’t know what to expect.  My instincts told me that it would be an old-fashioned movie with dated, classical music, making sense of the name of the play.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was wrong.  The delivery and style of the movie was truly unique and unlike any other production I have ever seen before.  [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on “Waltz With Bashir” Shocks All

Street Photography: Vandalism of Staten Island

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All throughout our world vandalism can be found almost anywhere.  We may have to look a little harder and dig a little deeper, but no matter what anyone tells you, vandalism is always around.  Whether it is graffiti on the wall of the corner drug store or defacing a park bench, vandalism is a crime that has been plaguing places all over the world for years.  This crime can be especially seen in the five boroughs of New York.  Living and growing up in Staten Island, I wanted to focus on the ever-growing problem of vandalism around my home. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   2 Comments

The MET: Art and Love in Renaissance Italy

I had never been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before and when I heard there was an Italian-based exhibit, I couldn’t wait to get there.  I didn’t see this journey to the MET as a mandatory assignment for a grade; I saw it as a way to learn about the art of my own culture.  As soon as I entered the exhibit I felt right at home.  I was surrounded by countless paintings of Bible scenes and Italian settings that reminded me of my early childhood.  As a child, my family and I would journey to Church every Sunday and learn about such scenes as the priest delivered his sermon.  All throughout my time at the Art and Love in Renaissance Italy Exhibit, memories and emotions surged through my body as I walked past each gigantic oil painting.
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December 16, 2008   1 Comment

Urban Bush Women Disappoints At Least One Macaulay Student

When we first received news that my fellow classmates and I would be going to BAM, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, I was looking forward to a thrilling performance.  Much to my dismay I was mistaken.  I was one of the first to arrive at BAM and I noticed some of the trailers for the performance we were about to witness.  My excitement and anticipation quickly changed to dread and loathing.  Several flat screen televisions were playing a few short clips that made my stomach churn.  As much as I didn’t want to, I decided to give the Urban Bush Women a chance to impress me before I made hasty conclusions.  I entered the theater with an open mind, hoping I would be wrong about the performance. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   1 Comment

Sam Freedman: Accomplished Writer and Loving Son

When my fellow classmates and I were first notified about the upcoming visit from Samuel G. Freedman, I was looking forward to receiving insight and inspiration for my own “Who She Was” assignment.  After reading his book, it was evident to see the love and respect he had for his mother, but hearing him talk about her was completely different.  After this class, I decided that I would write about my own father because of the love and respect I have for him, much like Freedman and his mother.  Freedman claimed that the book was used as an “act of penance” towards his mother.  He also said that he made sure everything was done correctly.  For example, clothes, language and culture of his mother’s lifetime were vital to capture the essence of his mother’s life.  This is the technique and approach I would use for my assignment.

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December 16, 2008   Comments Off on Sam Freedman: Accomplished Writer and Loving Son